Egypt announces new president-elect Mohamed Morsi
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Jeremy Hobson: Egypt has a new president-elect. It’s Mohamed Morsi, whose political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, was banned while former President Hosni Mubarak was in office.
For more, let’s bring in the BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil. She’s with us from Cairo. Good morning.
Shaimaa Khalil: Good morning, Jeremy.
Hobson: Give us a sense of what we know about Mohamed Morsi?
Khalil: Well, the most interesting thing about Mohamed Morsi, actually, is that he was never really considered one of the more charismatic characters. But he was a very, very quietly spoken man. He was educated in the United States; he’s an engineer. And he was in the high rankings of the Muslim Brotherhood — he was in the advisory bureau, and then he became the head of their political wing. Now the big question is what that means for the rest of the Egyptians, and if they do see him as trustworthy as members of the Muslim Brotherhood do.
Hobson: Has he said anything about his plans for Egypt’s economy, and how to bring it back after all the uncertainty of recent years?
Khalil: One of his big projects in his campaign was something called the Renaissance Project. And the Renaissance Project, basically, is bringing Egypt’s economy back on its feet. He has got many advisories with a business background. The Muslim Brotherhood are known to be very savvy businessmen, but it still remains to be seen how that is going to translate in job creation; in bringing the economy back; and in bringing investment back into Egypt.
Hobson: And what about the military? We reported last week that they did what looked like a power grab to weaken the presidency — so is this a weaker office than it used to be?
Khalil: Mohamed Morsi may be the new president, but the ruling military are very much the leaders of this country as it stands, because even though he did take the presidency, the military are in charge of legislation. Because there is no parliament, the military are in charge of the budgetary. They even chose his chief-of-staff; they chosen his minister of defense; and they’ve also chosen the time in which the constitution is going to be written. And actually, this is the real fight, Jeremy: as it stands, the ruling military holds veto over every article in this constitution.
Hobson: The BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil, joining us from Cairo. Thanks a lot.
Khalil: You’re welcome, Jeremy. Thanks so much for having me.
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